tutor2u Religious Studies Blog

GCSE Revision Quizzes - Environmental & Medical Issues

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Here are two 10-question GCSE quizzes on Environmental & Medical Issues:

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GCSE Revision Quizzes - Believing in God

Try these two 10-question GCSE revision quizzes on Believing in God

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GCSE Revision Quizzes - Matters of Life and Death

Try these two GCSE revision quizzes on Matters of Life and Death

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GCSE Revision Quiz - Animal Rights

Friday, April 11, 2014

Test your knowledge and understanding of the topic of animal rights with this GCSE revision quiz from our sister company Zondle!  There are 20 questions in this quiz - how many can you get right?

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Mississippi adopts anti abortion legislation

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mississippi is the latest state to introduce new anti-abortion legislation. This could shut down its one remaining abortion clinic thus ending the possibility of abortion in that state. This action on the one hand “ensures the lives of the born and unborn are protected” (Governor Phil Bryant) yet on the other it appears to go directly against a womans basic right to an abortion as enshrined in the Roe vs Wade ruling of 1973. Click here for the link to the article in the LA Times

Abortion - Who decides?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recent press interest on abortion has ranged from doctors signing off abortions for women they have never met to whether ‘After Birth Abortion’ can be morally justified.
BBC Moral Maze discusses abortion, considering the issue from all angles.
Click here for BBC Moral Maze - The morality of abortion.

The Killing of Osama Bin Laden

Should we worry about the niceties of the judicial system when it comes to terrorism?
Click here for the link

When is War Justified?

What, if anything should Britain do about Libya? Or Syria? Although events have moved on in Libya much of the discussion is still relevant when it comes to considering what could make war just.
Click here for the link to BBC Moral Maze

The Absolutist

Monday, October 03, 2011


The Absolutist, John Boyne (author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas)
Quite apart from the fact that it is BRILLIANT, it also ties in nicely with the AS syllabus.

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Are we good or evil?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Horizon asks the question ‘Are we born good or evil?’

BBC Horizon looks at genetics and brain function to establish if there is a ‘moral molecule’ inside of us. Click here for the link to BBC Horizon If we all have a general sense of morality, as the scientific research cited in this episode seems to suggest, then was Plato right in suggesting that we are born with an innate sense of ‘good’ and ‘right’? Should we be looking towards a moral absolute? Is relativism still relevant if morality has a genetic basis and linked to brain function? Is Sam Harris right? Can science answer moral questions and provide us with objective and absolute results?

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Justice

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Michael Sandel has produced an excellent series on Justice. As well as being generally pretty interesting, it also contains some really useful descriptions of Virtue Ethics, Kantian Ethics and Utilitarianism.

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Is religion bad for women?

Saturday, January 08, 2011


A conference in Newcastle this week has posed the question “Is religion responsible for keeping women in their place?”. Daphne Hampson, Professor of Divinity at the University of St Andrews argues that religion has proven to be hugely damaging to the equal rights of women. Last week Cheri Blair argued that over the years modern religion has fallen foul of fallible, masculine interpretation of key texts. However, Hampson argues that it is not simple a question of reinterpreting masculine versions of faith, but religion itself that is the problem. A transcendent, male divinity and a gendered hierarchy reflect all that is wrong with the patriarchal ideologies presented by the Abrahamic faiths. In her view religion has been central to modern day culture and has legitimized patriarchy.

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Does Spider Man have Free -Will?

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Imagine that you are Spiderman and have just discovered that you have special powers. Do you have a moral obligation to use your new found powers to help other people?
Is Spiderman a consequentialist? Does Spiderman really have to use his powers to do good? Why is he considered to be good? Could he choose any other course of action? Click here for the link to the complete article.

A2 Conscience Prezi

These are useful summaries of all the key players in the A2 topic on Conscience.
click here for no1 and click here for no 2

Modern take on the Nativity


Who says that the Nativity Story is dated?
click hereor the digital version of the nativity

Jedi Knight intends to sue for religious discrimination

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A 31 year old Jedi has received an apology from the manager of his local Jobcentre after being asked to ‘dehood’ on a recent visit. However, Chris Jarvis does not believe this goes far enough and is now planning to sue for discrimination after feeling neither his religion nor beliefs had been treated with respect. Jedi-ism is supposedly our fourth most popular religion according to the national census, however the Equality and Human Rights Commision (EHRC) does not include Jediism as a religion on the grounds that it is not “heartfelt”. This could prove to be an interesting debate. Tesco, now seemingly having elevated itself to the status of Debretts on dress code, has commented that “We would ask Jedis to remove hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all went hoodless without going to the Dark Side.”
Click here for the complete article

Can Science Answer Moral Questions?

Friday, March 26, 2010


In his recent TED talk Sam Harris argues that science can and should be used to answer moral questions. He talks about the relationship between science and human values. Usually it is thought that science can help us understand what we value but never tells us what we ought to value in the first place.
It is often said that science deals with facts and facts and values seem to belong to different spheres. Sam Harris argues this is untrue. He believes that values are a certain kind of fact. If questions affect human wellbeing then they do have answers whether or not we can find them, by admitting there are right and wrong answers that affect how humans florish will change the way we talk about morality.
Click here for the link
Have a look at the discussion underneath the TED talk as well.

Love and Religion

Monday, November 30, 2009

According to a recent survey having a rival in love is likely to make you feel more religious. According to Yexin Jessica Li, Arizona State University, the statistics seem to suggest that people vary in religiosity depending on the perceived mating market.
Click here for the link to the article.

Muslim academics and students are turning against Darwin’s theory


Nidhal Guessoum, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the American University of Sharjah, in the UAE, told a science conference on Saturday that in many places students and academics believed they had to make a ‘binary choice” between evolution and creationism. He went on to argue that teachers from high schools through to university are misrepresenting the facts and theories of evolution by mixing it up with religious ideology.
click here for the article in the Times

The Oprah Religion

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oprah Winfrey has announced her retirement from the tv chat show arena. Heralded as the mother of shows like Jerry Springer, Jeremy Kyle, Vanessa and even Richard and Judy, Oprah was a phenomenon that changed the world of tv ‘entertainment’. Sarah Churchill, in an interview with Steve Hewlett, discusses whether for some people the Oprah show took the place of religion. Sarah points out that there were elements of confession, worship (albeit of celebrities), morality, and ‘working through’ all contained within her show. Is this what accounted for her cultish following?
click here for the link to the Radio 4 interview - The Media Show

Hip Hop Creation

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A hip hop musical introduction to creation and evolution- it describes the main events of the creation and then sets out the theory of evolution and the notion of the Big Bang.
Well - at least it’s different!
Click here for the link..

Darwin’s Influence on Literature

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Newsnight panel discuss Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’.
This contains an interesting debate between Rev Richard Coles, Margaret Atwood, Ruth Padel and Richard Dawkins about why people still resist the theory of evolution.
Is it human behavior, is it the threat to religious authority or scriptural authority, is it due to an emotional barrier?
Click here for the link

How to read your text book

Monday, September 28, 2009

Are you struggling to make sense your text book? Watch this!
click here for the link

Philosophers Football Match

Monday, September 21, 2009

If you haven’t come across this before it’s a pretty funny introduction to the major philosophers of our time.
click here for the link to the Monty Python Sketch

Darwin vs Dawkins is a phenomenon of our times

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Darwin shook the status quo but never went as far as publicly denying God. According to James Secord, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, “It is easy to make Darwin out to be like Richard Dawkins, and to see Darwin as an acid that eats through our belief and faith, but Darwin didn’t see it like that”.

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Darwin- Creation

Just incase you hadn’t noticed Creation opens next Friday. Its billed as being about the man Darwin, his life and his legacy. It’s got to be worth a look!
click here for a review

Teaching the Rwandan genocide

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The charity Survivors Fund (SURF) is undertaking a preliminary survey amongst UK teachers to develop a greater understanding of if and how the Rwandan genocide is taught in schools. Your input into this research will be greatly appreciated, if you can spare the time to answer the following brief ten questions via the link here. Thank you.

Happy Campers?

Monday, June 29, 2009


The Times reports that Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, is helping to launch the first atheist summer camps. They will rival the summer holiday schemes usually run by church groups, scouts or guides. “Budding atheists will be given lessons to arm themselves in the ways of rational scepticism”.

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What would Jesus Buy?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Reverend Billy Talen, a preacher from America, is launching his UK tour “The Shopocalypse” with his gospel choir called the Church of Life After Shopping.

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Plato Cave Revision AS

Friday, May 15, 2009

Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what might be represented in the Analogy of the Cave by the
following:
1) the prisoners, the shadows, the cave itself, the
outside world, the sun, the journey out of the
cave and the return to the prisoners.

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3 Links for Revision on Religious Language

Religious Language

click here for a useful ink outlining the major issues and problems arising within this topic.

click here for a briefer discussion of the issue. Very accessible. Mentions the key players in the debate.

click here for a far deeper discussion of the issues. Has useful chapters with links so that you can focus upon certain areas.

 

Angels and Demons

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The theme of the film is the conflict between religion and science. It has met with mixed reviews. Whilst it is not as sacrilegious as The Da Vinci Code, there is still plenty to offend ones religious sensibilities. However, interestingly the Vatican describes the film as ‘harmless’.
click here to read the Times review

Origins of the Universe Revision

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

check this website out for a brief overview and loads of links
click here for the link

The Problem of Evil Revision

Check out this web site for useful links and synopsis of the topic.
click here for the link

The Evolution of God

Robert Wright’s book The Evolution of God is out next month in America. It is a non believers exploration of how religious doctrine and practice have changed and evolved through human history. The book expounds the view that our evolving view of God can be understood as the evolution of the human understanding of truth, that the evolving doctrines and practice of our faith might merely indicate humankind’s slow understanding of the real nature of the divine.

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Who thinks religion is important?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Asians and Africans see religion as most important in their daily lives. Europeans are less of the belief that faith matters. 99% of people in Bangladesh agree that religion is part of their daily lives, whilst only 29% of those in Britain are of the same view.
click here for the link to the complete list of statistics from the recent Gallup poll.

Can God make you rich and happy?

Monday, May 04, 2009

According to a recent article in the Times there are economic benefits to being a Christian. There arppears to be a link between religiosity and upward economic mobility in the United States. Jonathan Gruber, a secular economist from MIT has argued that church going produces a boost in income.

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God is Back

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Weber and Durkheim predicted the secularization of the world. Freud saw religion as neurosis. Neitzche stated confidently that “God is dead”. In fact, ever since Darwin, educated western though has considered religion to be a dying phenomena - ” the refuge of the ignorant, the superstitious”. In 1959 C. Wright Mills argued that “in due course the sacred realm shall disappear altogether, except possibly, in the private realm”.

So why is religion making a come back? Did it ever really go away?

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Religion is ‘the new social evil’

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The Times reported this week that a poll conducted by a Christian charity has identified religion as the new social evil of the 21st century.

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What do you get if you divide science by God?

Friday, April 10, 2009

A prize winning quantum physicist says a spiritual reality is veiled from us and science offers a glimpse behind that curtain. The bizarre nature of quantum physics has attracted some speculation that that it is compatible with a ‘spiritual view of things’.

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The Problem of Suffering

Dr Alan Billings comments on the sheer precariousness of human life. He argues that to put your trust in God is to abandon all hope that life will go well simply because you are a person of faith. Drawing upon the experiences of those in Italy Dr Billings links the problem of suffering with the experience of Christ on the cross.

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Faith and the Credit Crunch

Monday, March 30, 2009

Can religion really comment on economics? Does Christianity have anything relevant to say about the credit crunch?

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Creationism to be taught in Science lessons in UK

Friday, March 20, 2009

OCR is bringing in a study of Creationism into the GCSE biology from September. The spokeswoman for OCR said “candidates need to understand the social and historical context to scientific ideas both pre and post Darwin. Candidates are asked to discuss why the opponents of Darwinism thought the way they did and how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence”
click here for the link to the full article in the Times

More on Darwin

Friday, March 06, 2009

This is an interesting look at some of the experiments Darwin created when investigating his theory of evolution.
click here for the iplayer link

Darwin and Religion

Darwins Dangerous Ideas.
Thurs 9pm. BBC2
Andrew Marr

I can’t recommend watching this enough. This is an excellent account of the origins of the science vs religion debate.

Click here for the iplayer link

Russells Celestial Teapot

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Russells Celestial teapot analogy was designed to refute the argument that the burden of proof lies with the non-believer to disprove the claims of religions. It has been used more recently by Richard Dawkins in his book “A Devils Chaplain”. Dawkins has also reformulated the argument to be an Invisible Pink Unicorn in The God Delusion (2006).

For an interesting discussion of the flaws in Russells Celestial Teapot argument click here.

 

Darwin and Religion

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This BBC Thought for the Day is a useful introduction to the issues.
Rev David Wilkinson 12th Feb
Click here for the link

Do you know your Biblical references?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Poet Laureate Andrew Motion has raised concerns that many students are coming unstuck because they do not understand their bible references. Test your knowledge with this quiz from the Bible Society. Click here

 

Moral Monkeys and Kant

In todays ‘Thought for the Day” Akhandadhi Das spoke about research presented last week to show that Monkeys express empathy and offer help when a fellow animal is in trouble. These findings seem to suggest that animals have a moral sense, thus calling into question the idea that humans are unique. Does this have implications for the Moral Argument as a proof for the existence of God?

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Philosophers Football Match

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Strange but true -
A board game simulating a football match between French and German Philosophers.
If you fancy a go then click here for the link. It contains all of the rules and everything you’ll need to play!

TOK The Language of Love

Monday, February 16, 2009

Love- every language has a word for love. Love is a basic human emotion.

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ToK Deductive Logic

The Headless Professor explains Deductive Logic using Venn diagrams really clearly.
Click here for the link
Headless Professor ‘Logic Stacks’ is also another very clear presentation of the way in which Deductive Logic works. Click here for the link. This is a good kinesthetic activity if you want to have a go yourself!

 

 

 

TOK Logic

An excellent overview of the areas of Logic for the ToK course. This contains links and definitions. A great resource for students and teachers. Click here

 

More for the Science and Religion Debate

The Richard Dawkins Debate - article from the Times Monday 16th Feb
click here for the link
Loads of links to watch/read/listen to.

 

How people view the theory of evolution

Friday, February 13, 2009

An article from The Economist containing some interesting facts and figures.

Click here for the link

TOK Connections Perception/ Knowledge

A stimulus sheet - pictures / buzz words

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Evolution

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Here are three very different takes on evolution and the science/ religion debate.

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Basic OCR Religion and Science Terms

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Religion and Science Terms
A fairly basic visual ‘dummies guide’ to the terms required for the AS OCR

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Quotations Relevant to the OCR Science and Religion Topic

Science and Religion
A visual approach to ‘who thinks what’

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Questions on the Truman Show

Question Sheet
Relevant to both the TOK course and the RE AS

The film focusses upon issues of perception and reality, Plato’s Cave,  knowledge and truth.

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Four Philosophical Questions

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Four Philosophical questions to make your brain hurt

An interesting introduction to some of the issues that are relevant to the Theory of Knowledge IB Course.

 

 

My Year of Living Biblically

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A.J. Jacobs My Year of Living Biblically

He follows ALL of the laws in the Bible for a year. Its pretty interesting seeing the reactions he provokes in others.
He has a humorous way of making a serious point about following things literally without asking why?.

 

Genesis 1 -3 A Psychological Interpretation


It is possible that the Bible writers are trying to explain something more fundamental to humanity itself rather than just be recounting historical/ scientific detail about the events. Is it important whether the creation took place exactly as it says in the bible or ought we be looking for other interpretations of the account?

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67% Chance God Exists

Recent bus adverts from the humanist society have been telling people to stop worrying and enjoy life because there probably isn’t a god anyway. Dr Stephen Unwin would beg to differ. He has worked out the mathematical probability that God exists is exactly 67%.

 

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Logical Positivism and Empiricism

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
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The Falsification Principle

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Sexuality and Relationships

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Just War Theory

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Environmental Ethics

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The Conscience

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Free Will and Determinism

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In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

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Euthanasia and Ethical Theory

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Embryo Research and Ethical Theory

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Abortion and Ethical Theory

Abortion is the premature termination of a foetus from the womb, legal up to 24 weeks with the agreement of two doctors

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Utilitarianism and Christian Ethics

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Utilitarianism

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Kantian Ethics and Christian Ethics

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Kantian Ethics

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Christian Ethics

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The Problem of Evil

John Hick defined evil as “physical pain, mental suffering and moral wickedness” For Hick, the consequence of evil is suffering

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Sociology of Religion

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Psychology of Religion

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Teleological Argument

The word ‘Telos’ is Greek for purpose. The Teleological argument thus argues that the universe is being directed towards a telos, an end purpose, and the a posteriori evidence of an apparent intelligent design in the world implies the existence of an intelligent designer, God.

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Religious Experience

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Ontological Argument

The word ‘ontos’ means ‘being.’ The Ontological argument thus attempts to prove the existence of God a priori by focusing on the nature of his existence or being. St. Anslem (1033-1109) was the Archbishop of Canterbury. His argument was first presented in the form of a prayer in his book, ‘Proslogion,’ directed at the fool of the Psalm (Psalm 14) who says in his heart that there is no God.

There are two forms to Anslem’s Ontological argument:

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The Moral Argument

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Cosmological Argument

The word ‘cosmos’ refers to the universe as an ordered, harmonious and holistic entity. The Cosmological argument therefore argues for the existence of God a posteriori based on the apparent order in the universe.

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The Goodness of God

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God’s Activity in the World and the Concept of Miracle

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The Concept of God as Creator

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Introduction to Judaeo-Christianity

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Plato’s Theory of Forms

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Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

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Plato’s Body/Soul Distinction

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Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

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Greek Influences on Judaeo-Christian Thought

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Critical Analysis of Platonic Thought

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Aristotle’s Concept of the Prime Mover

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Aristotle’s Concept of Cause

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